Binge-watch (v.t.) the practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual; often described as watching between 2-6 episodes of the same show in one sitting. E.g. “I am going to binge-watch my favorite comedy all night.”
I am Netflix’s most eager hostage. In my Stockholm Syndrome attachment to the automatic playback feature, I have managed to “accidentally” watch the entire series of Parks & Recreation twice in the past four months. In a single night, I watched seven episodes of Elementary simply because I could. Two nights ago, I watched four episodes of Father Ted before going to bed, and two again the next morning.
(I can stop anytime.)
I am currently in the unfortunate position of being held firmly in the grasp of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. The episodes are long. The dialogue makes no sense. Half the characters make me cringe. The music is grating. Yet, having only begun the series anew three days ago, I am already well into the second season. (Thank god there are only two seasons.) Already, I can feel my mind changing, flitting about between what is real and what is Netflix. Already, I can feel the side-effects of this fateful, late-night decision…
Upon waking up this morning, I found myself followed by an imaginary and intensely sensual jazz soundtrack. Every experience stands out against this background music, even when it doesn’t make sense that I should be hearing jazz. Brushing my teeth, walking past a fountain, putting on and taking off socks. My mind generates jazz at every moment, and it’s all I can do to pursue what, I hope, outwardly appears to others as the continuance of a normal life.
I’ve found myself staring. Not ponderously. Not meaningfully. I’ve found myself staring, for no reason except for that’s what they do in the show. They stare with open mouths (or closed mouths). They stare with eyes as big as saucers as that haunting jazz pushes on in the background. Sometimes they sway. Sometimes they lean backward (or forward). One time they started barking.
(I haven’t started barking.)
I’ve found myself terribly offended anytime Audrey Horne and Special Agent Dale Cooper are not on screen together. It is a crime against nature that two such beautiful people were cast with no hope of locking lips. Even watching different shows, I think of those perfect arching eyebrows, those softly curving lips and hips, and I’m offended that they are not onscreen.
I really want to smoke a cigarette. That is to say, I want to be the sort of person that would smoke a cigarette, hold it loosely between my fingers while I stare vacantly (yet deliberately) at objects that mean nothing. I want to stand alone in the middle of the room with a cigarette and gently sway back and forth as I drown in jazz, and I want that to be normal.
I like my coffee black as midnight on a moonless night. (I have always liked my coffee this way, but it would be a horrible offense to not use this image.)
I want to say cool, beatnicky things about owls and giants and mysterious one-armed men. And, what’s more, I want those things to mean something. Like, I want to dance sideways into a room and announce, “My toes sleep soundly when the fly smiles.” I want to say that, and I want an attractive man to be in the room. He will be wearing a three-piece suit, just because. I want him to stand up, walk towards me, take my slim shoulders in his hands. His fingers will curl tightly and press into my skin, and his eyes will be ablaze with wonder. “Your toes!” he will exclaim, his voice wavering. He will look down and stare intently before grabbing my hand and pulling me out of the room. “The fly!” We will run together to a destination, and together we will stare some more. There–just there!–will be the answer to everything.
Now, it would seem by these side-effects of binge-watching Twin Peaks that this show has a pretty good hold on my life, but I can stop anytime. (I can stop anytime.) With the completion of the thirtieth episode sometime in the next two weeks, things will go back to normal. The jazz will fade, the coffee will lose its taste, the staring will taper, and the lust for meaning will dissolve. The owls will be exactly what they seem, and I will restart Parks and Recreation………..
But, for now, my toes sleep soundly when the fly smiles.